Film: Ratcatcher 15g rating Year: 1999
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Country: UK Genre: Drama
Director: Lynne Ramsay
Starring: William Eadie, Tommy Flanagan, Mandy Matthews, Michelle Stewart

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Ratcatcher Synopsis - Ratcatcher is set in a block of council flats during the summer of 1973 and is seen through the eyes of James, a 12 year old boy who lives with his family in one of the flats. There is a bin men strike and the rubbish is piling up outside the flats where the children play. The grim world outside is mirrored inside the flat due to the difficulties of the financial situation and his father's heavy drinking. His life takes a desperate turn as his friend drowns in front of him in a filthy near by canal. James doesn't tell anyone and begins to withdraws from the grimness of the situation and instead retreats to a fantasy world with his friend Margaret-Ann (who is also keen to escape the reality of her situation), and invests all his hopes in his family being given a new council house being built on the outskirts of the city.

Review of Ratcatcher - Ratcatcher is a very touching and also quite a grim film. It's often quite scarce dialogue really helps to convey the feeling of detachment that the young boy must feels for his surroundings in order to survive them. The film is beautifully shot and achieves, better than most films, the difficult task of seeing through the eyes of the main character (James). This film really marks out Lynne Ramsay as a major talent of British cinema and hopefully there is more to come (her follow up was the rather good Morven Callar which unfortunately didn't quite maintain the high standard of this offering). The three children who play James and his two friends Margaret-Anne and Kenny are superb, it hard to believe just how good these young actors are in their roles.
The reasons I recommend Ratcatcher are: 1. An incredibly beautifully shot film . 2. Superb performances of the young actors. 3. It's style that is very powerful in evoking the almost dreamlike detachment that the main character employs to escape from the reality of his situation. 4. A necessarily sparse but very effective soundtrack.